Golf Course Management

MAR 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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focus on both written and unwritten rules that serve as a standard of ex- cellence for the professional golf course superintendent. If you want to raise the bar on your professionalism, start with the written protocols for your property. ese include things like dress codes, punctuality expectations, codes of conduct, rules of ethics and standard operating procedures. You should be the exacting example of these pro - tocols. Look and act the part of a property and/or industry expert. Once you have mastered the written rules, you can progress to the unwritten protocols. ese hidden gems are harder to master but often can be the difference between good and great professionalism. Hospitality is an example of an unwritten protocol. When interacting with a guest or golfer, make eye contact at 10 feet, acknowledge and smile at 2 feet and use the person's name, if possible. Always wave or in some way acknowledge others when driving past someone on the course. Random acts of kindness are also part of this category. For example, I know of a superintendent who literally gave the shoes off his feet to help a guest of a member. e member had invited his brother-in-law to play golf. ey ran into the superintendent on the way to the driving range and discovered the guest had forgotten his golf shoes. e superintendent asked the guest's shoe size and was told size 12. e superintendent also wore size 12, and he had just picked up a pair of new golf shoes (still in the box). He offered the shoes to the guest, who wore them, had a great round and sent a letter to the GM praising the superintendent. He even - tually bought the shoes. Such acts certainly are professional and definitely impactful, but they're never really listed in the employee handbook. e best example of a golf course superintendent's professional pro - tocol is the GCSAA Code of Ethics. e GCSAA by-laws actually give power to the Board of Directors to enforce the Code of Ethics in Article III, Sections 2-3, available on the website . Look it up. Innovation — thinking outside of the box Consider unconventional ways to demonstrate the responsibilities and expertise that constitute the professionalism of the superintendent. It could be something simple. You could give a short presentation at a staff meeting about new trends in course maintenance or something noteworthy that has taken place. Did you or your property win an in - dustry award? Contribute to the club newsletter, but go beyond weather and course-condition updates. What about planning a department cook - out and inviting management, employees, members, local politicians and other special guests to come and socialize? Also, think about using your course as an outdoor classroom for case studies or hosting field trips from local science classes. How about partnering with your local visitors bureau to highlight what your course Consider using your course as an outdoor classroom for local students (future golfers), as Anthony Williams, CGCS, is in this photo. This is a great way to increase your community engagement and professional image. Photo courtesy of Anthony L. Williams

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